The Heat is On: New York Travels to South Beach to Take on Miami

New York Knicks at Miami Heat
Sunday, 2/27/11, 8:00 PM EDT, TV:  ESPN
Opening Point Spread:  Miami -8.5
Current Betting Line:  Miami -8.5
Opening Total:  215
Current Total:  215

The Miami Heat get their first look at the revamped New York Knicks on Sunday night

New York rolls into South Beach with its newly acquired star dealing with a right elbow injury that will not cause him to miss a highly anticipated match-up.  “He should be fine,” said coach Mike D’Antoni of forward Carmelo Anthony’s injury.  “He didn’t take a whole lot of shots, let’s put it that way, but he ran through everything.”  The team needs him at full strength to continue improving its position in the Eastern Conference standings and improving a 29-27 record with 26 regular season games remaining.  New York will also be looking to bounce back from a dismal 115-109 losing effort to Cleveland last time out, even though Anthony scored 27 points and power forward Amar’e Stoudemire scored 31 of his own.  The squad is 33-21 ATS on the season and currently a road underdog on the NBA lines page.

The Knicks have garnered a 13-15 overall record on the road during the 2010-11 campaign, including a 7-8 mark against Eastern Conference opponents.  New York trails the season series, 2-1, but won the most recent meeting 93-88 at Madison Square Garden on January 27.  The team has lost four straight contests in Miami, last winning on March 12, 2008, which actually snapped a seven-game losing streak.  Stoudemire is averaging 26 points and 9.7 rebounds while playing over 40 minutes a night in three games against tonight’s opponent.

Miami is well aware of the heated rivalry when playing New York and will look to capture the season series in the process.  “We know the Heat-Knicks rivalry goes way beyond our years,” said star LeBron James.  “It basically started with the departure of the man upstairs, coming down here and leaving New York.”  The man upstairs is president Pat Riley.  The Heat captured a 121-113 home victory over the Wizards in their last game, as guard Dwyane Wade scored 41 points on 18-for-27 shooting.  Miami is 10-16 ATS at home and 28-29 ATS overall this season.

The Heat have currently won seven-straight home games, which happens to be their longest streak of the season.  Miami’s trio of stars that includes James, Wade and Chris Bosh managed to score a combined 81 points against the Wizards, their 22nd game this season they scored at least 75 points together.  Heading into tonight’s contest versus New York, Miami has recorded nine wins this month.  The franchise mark for wins in February is 13.

Bettors will likely back the Heat due to their 6-1 ATS mark on Sunday, while the Knicks are 2-5 ATS in the last seven meetings.

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